Character

Character

Character is an Intensive, meaning it happens in a short time span (1 day in NYC, or 2 days on Zoom, or 3 weeks Online). The course includes a mixture of lectures and exercises. It’s open to writers of any level. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

Characters are the beating heart of every story—fiction, nonfiction, any kind of scripted show. In fact, it’s their actions, dialogue, habits, quirks, appearance, gestures, hopes, dreams, fears, triumphs, failures, and flaws that make a story what it is. We follow people like Sherlock, Hamlet, Katniss, Batman, Sethe, and ________ (fill in your great character here) not because they’re nice folks, but because they fascinate us.

It’s almost magical, bringing people to life through words. Here you’ll learn techniques for creating and revealing characters that seem as vividly dimensional as your wife or boss or next-door neighbor.

Whether you’re working with imaginary or real people, we’ll show you how to write characters that your readers or audience won’t soon forget.

About Character
Character

An awesome stepping stone to building a story of any kind.

Jacob Sokol

delivery driver

Notes

This is a cross-genre course, applicable to any kind of writing that contains characters, including nonfiction.

Upcoming Classes

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

3-Week
2-Day

Syllabus

This course gives an overview of how to realize great characters, in any genre. Course components:
     Brief lectures
     Writing exercises

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes
Week 1
All of Humanity: The role of character. Admirable traits and flaws. Round and flat characters. Origins of characters.

Week 2
Getting to Know Them: Background. Physicality. Personality. Magic keys. Contrasts and consistency.

Week 3
The Character Thickens: Voice—speech, narration. Desire. Change. Names.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes. 

Teachers

Adela Brito
Adela Brito

Adela Brito has published short stories in Acentos Review, Litbreak Magazine, Hieroglyph, and Moko Magazine, and she is a former fiction editor of The Pinch literary journal. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Underwood, Adelaide Literary Magazine, All About Jazz, c-nf, Counterculture UK, and Storyboard Memphis. She has taught at the University of Memphis and Nashville State Community College. She holds a BA from Florida International University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Memphis.

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Lisa Namdar Kaufman
Lisa Namdar Kaufman

Lisa Namdar Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on the documentary film 8000 Paper Clips and TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

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Paul Zimmerman
Paul Zimmerman

Paul Zimmerman wrote the feature screenplay A Modern Affair (Columbia Tri-Star). He served as screenwriter-in-residence for Tribe Pictures, has written screenplays for JEM Entertainment and Primusfilms, and he authored the chapter on Character in Gotham's book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). His play Pigs and Bugs was originally presented at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival, and his one-person play Reno was presented in New York City at the West Bank Cafe among other venues. He has published fiction in Confrontation Magazine. He has taught at Hofstra University and St. John's University. Paul holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale.

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